Back in December we “de-mystified” Prime Rib just in time for Christmas. Here’s a miniature version for a casual, quickly-prepared feast.
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Recall from Prime Rib Demystified that the rib primal cut of beef is 7 ribs long, from rib #6 through rib #12. Prime rib roasts are therefore almost always sold as 7-, 4-, or 3-rib sections. HOWEVER– once in a great while we stumble upon a 2-rib roast… and a significant proportion of them are from the somewhat less desirable chuck end. But just the other day I chanced upon a very thick 2-ribber from the LOIN end. It was being offered as a rib roast, but could just as well have been declared an extra-thick thick ribeye steak. Either way, it was poised for culinary fabulousness. And with the cooking method used here, it was essentially the best of both worlds– steak on the outside, and traditional prime rib within.
This puppy weighed in at just over two pounds, bone-in… perfect for two people.
Shown here is my steak-prep apparatus– elevated to properly aerate and thereby
form a nice crust that facilitates browning.
I gave this luscious-looking hunk of meat the usual salt and pepper pre-treatment, along with some of my beloved Montreal Steak Seasoning. I let it warm up to nearly room temperature and then seared it on each side in my largest iron pan. Alternatively, I could have fired up my mini-grill and then given each side a proper charcoal exterior scorch. In either case, the next step is to put it in a 350ºF oven with an instant-read roasting thermometer and get it to an interior temperature of 129ºF.
After patient resting, I carefully sliced mine in half lengthwise, resulting in this–
Is this Prime Rib or Steak? Yes… the best of both worlds, actually.
One advantageous aspect of this dish is the short time it takes to prepare. The normal time commitment for Prime Rib preparation is two days, not including thawing time; this dish can go from fridge to plate in just a few short afternoon hours.
A few weeks ago I posted one of my dollar-saving hacks on our Facebook page… a suggestion for buying a whole ribeye (rib roast) at a great price and then cutting it into individual steaks. If you like this idea of Prime Rib for Two, it would be worth cutting yourself one or more 2-rib roasts while you’re at it.
And finally, feel free to treat this cut like Prime Rib OR a steak. Prime Rib likes a classic old-school sauce (like Sauce Bordelaise) while grilled steak calls for something bold and modern, like Chimichurri. There’s no reason not to serve this dish with BOTH.